Monday, January 26, 2015


Firmly in the hope camp is Paul Krugman:
So now that Mr. Tsipras has won, and won big, European officials would be well advised to skip the lectures calling on him to act responsibly and to go along with their program. The fact is they have no credibility; the program they imposed on Greece never made sense. It had no chance of working.
Maria Margaronis raises questions:
So there are very tough days ahead, and the possible price of failure hardly bears thinking about. This may be the left’s last chance for a long time, and not only in Greece. As a Golden Dawn supporter leaning very visibly against the doorway of a polling centre in a left-wing neighbourhood told me, “We want Syriza to win so it can be stripped naked and the people will turn to us. Our aim is to come third so that we can be strong in parliament.” As far-right Eurosceptic parties rise across the continent, Brussels and Berlin would be foolish not to listen to the message from Greece last night: austerity has been a disaster, economically, socially and politically, and people are fighting back with everything they’ve got.
Marcus Walker is more sceptical:
Hopes that Syriza’s win can trigger a political and economic shift across Europe are likely to founder on cold facts: Greece is small, lacks allies, and faces bankruptcy without rescue funds that Berlin can block.
Berlin officials fear that relaxing Greek austerity would send the wrong signal to France and Italy—and that it would play into the hands of Germany’s own populist upstart party, Alternative für Deutschland, which opposes eurozone bailouts and thinks Ms. Merkel has already provided too much largess in Europe.
Irate Greek is, well, irate at Syriza's choice of coalition partners:
I am incensed – INCENSED – that SYRIZA chose to go for a coalition with Independent Greeks instead of repeat elections. I believe that people like Panos Kammenos – the raving, racist lunatic who said last week that that “Buddhists, Jews and Muslims don’t pay taxes” – should never, ever be given positions of power. Furthermore, accepting people such as Kammenos in a left-led government is playing with fire because it gives public and political legitimacy to his xenophobic, racist, antisemitic, homophobic views and Greece doesn’t need more of that when it already has a neo-Nazi party as its third largest political force.
Only time will tell.


roybaintonwrites said...

Stoutos Rylekos, being close to the epicentre of what's happening in Greece must generate mixed feelings of elation and terror.So I liked the way you've covered the election using four third party reactions. I tend to agree that allowing the Nazi nutters into the fold is like inviting half a dozen rabid wolves into a sheep pen. However, the next signpost as to where this is heading will come from Spain. No doubt there are a number of Ukip fruitcakes and looneys already excited by the fact that Golden Dawn have broken through the walls of their own asylum. These are scary times, and May in the UK will be acarier than ever.

The Plump said...

Comrade in stoutness

Golden Dawn are the nazis, and they are stuck on around 7%, losing one seat from last time around. Independent Greeks are right wing nationalist lunatics - and they make the average UKIP member look sane (their leader is into chemtrails conspiracy theory). There is a big difference between now and the 1930s. Golden Dawn are on 7%, at the same stage in Weimar Germany, the Nazis were on 37%. People are looking and voting left rather than right for solutions. UKIP are going down the plughole now they have the same level of scrutiny as other parties - and I am finding it very funny. The story here is not about the rise of the far right, it is about the failure of the social democratic left.

The main threat as I see it is populist authoritarianism, eroding democracy and acting as nationalist cover for kleptocrats. Putinism in short, supported by the vile Orban government in Hungary. That is why I am alarmed that Syriza have lined themselves up with Putin as one of their first acts. What will happen? Who knows.

On electoral behaviour, The Daily Mash pu it better than anyone here